I am terribly exhausted. It's not a "tired" that extra sleep can fix. It's emotional drain that may go away if there is ever an end in sight for 4's case and Baby Girl's adoption.
The adoption stuff is too complicated to even blog about. There are so many details and all of it is frustrating. I can only handle like 15 minutes of it per day so I make phone calls, shuffle paperwork, threaten government offices- then my 15 minutes are up and I have no energy left to fill you all in. Summary: We're trying to get Baby Girl enrolled in Medicaid and SSI because of her disability and extensive medical care (and costs). This is something that the agency should apply for (it's a common practice for special needs adoptions). The government programs won't accept an application from me- only the agency- but have said she would definitely qualify with her condition. We can not file our finalization papers in court until we have it (or we can never get it). The agency who did her adoption is refusing to apply. They literally said they won't do it. I literally said I will start with the clerk at the social security office and work my way up to President Obama until someone makes them do it. And I will. 15 minutes at a time.
The foster care stuff is RIDICULOUS.
Baby 4 is acting out like a mad man at school. He's refusing to sit for lesson and is being nasty to peers and adults alike. At home, he is pushing every one of my buttons- partly because he's trying and partly because I'm a little testy lately. I got a note home from school today that he called his teacher "annoying" when she had to remind him not to talk during her lesson. He has also been saving his arguing with me until we are in front of another adult as a way to rally support. It hasn't worked, but it's super embarrassing. Baby Girl's Physical therapist, 4's bus driver, and the caseworker have all been privy to this ploy. He's testing to see if I will back down in front of company or if he can get away with stuff when someone else is watching. I've been saying outright, "So and So doesn't mind if you go to time out right now. Would you like to do that?". That works for like a minute before he starts whining that he wants to be good and wants to come out. He never does that when it's just us home and he absolutely can not come out of time out until he has stopped his whining and done his 5 minutes. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but he's been defiant literally 24/7 the past week, and it keeps me so on edge. I don't want to be constantly correcting him, but I can't let him make poor choices without guidance. It's hard to be on top of him all the time without reacting emotionally to his behavior. I'd be lying if I said my voice has remained calm all week. There's been some yelling and some threats about Santa Claus (yep, I turned into that Mom)
Visits started up again last week. I wasn't going to tell 4 until the day of that first visit back because I didn't want him to obsess over it for too long. Relative Resource let the cat out of the bag though when she called 3 days before the visit. Coincidence that the testing behavior started right then? Nope.
Back Story: The Saturday before Mother's Day was my Mom's birthday. We were going to a local festival and parade to celebrate. That morning I was painting my nails to coordinate with the festival theme and Baby 4 asked if I would do his too. I did them and he was so proud. We made some fun of him for being a "beautiful girl" which he thought was funny. He wore the nail polish to church on Mother's Day an school on Monday before I took it off him. He was bummed I didn't let him wear it longer.
On Thursday, Baby 4 had his visit with Dad. When he came back from his visit, I asked him how it went. 4 very happily told me, "Daddy's mad at you.". He proceeded to tell me that after 4 told Dad that I had let him wear nail polish, Dad got upset and asked Baby 4 to tell me that he's not allowed to do girl things. Baby 4 reported that Dad is going to call me and, "Get you in trouble". 4 thought it was funny, and I told him not to worry about it. Daddy and Teresa can talk later.
Dad did not call me. I brought the incident up to the CW and asked that any instructions from the Bios be given directly to me and not sent through Baby 4. The caseworker responded that I shouldn't have let him wear nail polish. It was one of those things where it wasn't a big deal until you told me not to do it. Why shouldn't he wear nail polish once to a parade when he asked for it? Why should he be limited to gender role activities? Is letting him wear nail polish going to turn him into a girl? a transvestite? a homosexual? Or is it just going to make his nails colored for a couple days until I take it off. Come on! Baby 4 probably did exaggerate Dad's response, which is why Dad should respond to me instead of to Baby 4. My complaint fell on deaf ears.
On Saturday (after a GREAT day on Friday including finding funding for Baby Girl's formula YAY! and Baby 4 getting a good report from school YAY!- it hasn't been all bad), I was getting 4 ready for his visit and he asked me to paint his nails. I said, "Didn't Daddy tell you no nail polish?". We decided that we need to obey Daddy. 4 went on his visit.
He came back 2 hrs later visibly happy. He said, "I get to go live with Daddy!" Afte asking him more questions about his information and source, it was concluded that Dad told 4 they would be living together soon. It was all he could talk about. I couldn't argue with him, so I just said that I thought it was great that they wanted to live together. He's talked about it everyday since.
Over the weekend, 4 disclosed some additional trauma that was previously only speculated by CPS. I called his caseworker Monday morning and talked to her about what he said and about the visit. With the disclosure, she had me call the child abuse hotline and make a report. A CPS investigator will interview 4 as well as the accused and will determine if the report is founded or unfounded. If the report is founded, it doesn't change much for Baby 4's case except putting an extra nail in the Mom's TPR case. As for Dad saying 4 could live with him, caseworker said she doesn't believe it happened. It's just Baby 4's wishful thinking. Annoying.
Relative Resource still calls 3 times/week. I started that schedule with her back when it seemed like hie reunion with her would be quick and I thought they needed to stay in touch. After 14 months, though, these calls are cumbersome and overwhelming for me. I never know what to say to her. She's clearly offset by me. Baby 4 doesn't have anything interesting to say.
Except for today. Today he told RR that he was going to live with Daddy. Daddy told him so. He asked RR if all the toys she's promised him will be at Dad's house when he gets there. She told him that he can have those toys at her house. RR asked to speak with me. RR said she was already told what is happening in court in June. Baby 4 will be moving out of our house. There has been a plan made with Dad. She said that it's not her place to tell me what the plan is. The caseworker probably won't tell me until after court. She wants us to be Baby 4's Godparents when he leaves. I kept myself together and responded very well: "We are just so happy to be care for 4 while he needs it.", "Our only goal is make sure 4 has everything he needs right now." Blah Blah Blah...
I didn't say, "Never in a thousand years would you know more about this case and the plan than I do, random out of state relative. The caseworker does tell me what's up and the plan is to keep 4 in care for another 6 months.". I didn't say, "No one knows what will happen in court because the judge makes the decisions and we don't even know what judge we're seeing yet.". So I get two gold stars for self control.
My guess is that RR's laywer found out about our judge's nose and Judge FPWN and called RR with the "good news" that she might have a chance at custody.
That call today left me a shaky mess. I can't take those calls anymore, and I can't stop them this far into placement either without good reason. I don't think," the calls make my stomach feel like I just got off a rollercoaster", is a good reason in the eyes of CPS.
I am desperately seeking an end to this madness. It's left me emotionally wrecked and completely depleted of energy anmd it's messing with Baby 4 even worse. I hate that he has problems I can't fix. A Mom should be able to help her child work through his feelings, but I can't give him any answers. I can't make his family stop promising things they can't control.
It's pure exhaustion. It's Foster Care.
Did anyone read this whole post? WOW, did I blabber on! I'm not offended if you just skimmed.